I haven’t written much in a while, not just a blog post here, but any writing at all. It feels like forever. I didn’t intend not to write but “life” got in the way. I was in the hospital, my husband was in the hospital, then all three of us got colds. We have been traveling a lot, and I have been chauffeuring my son to all sorts of activities.
When I look at all the reasons I haven’t done any writing they look like just excuses. I suppose that’s what they are. I have so much that I want (have) to do that I can get paralyzed and not get anything done. Has that ever happened to you? If so, you are not alone.
Here is what I am doing to get over the writing slump:
For me, the first step is acknowledging those reasons and/or excuses that have kept me from writing, head on. You can’t change the past so there is no use dwelling on it. However, it is good to take a look at which reasons are valid and which ones are just excuses and go deeper into the why.
Is it fear holding me back? Maybe. Probably. Fear of what? Sometimes people self-sabotage because they have fears they don’t want to admit. Writing is such a personal and vulnerable thing, especially when it is published. There is fear of rejection. Fear that no one will like your writing. Fear that it won’t sell and so on.
In my case, it was mostly health issues that prevented me from writing. It is also because I have a strong sense of overwhelm. I have so many things I want to write, nonfiction and fiction, that I don’t know where to begin!
Give Yourself Grace
Like I said before, you can’t change the past. There is no use beating yourself up for not reaching your writing goals or not taking the time to write at all. Welcome to the human race. No one is perfect and that’s okay. It is more than okay. Being human, in all its imperfections is awesome. 🙂
So, give yourself grace. Throw all those self-defeating lies out the window and forget about what was. Now it is time to focus on what is.
Start again, slowly.
If you want to get back to writing, do it. Take out your calendar and pick a day and time to write. Make it a nonnegotiable appointment and keep it. BUT, keep it small – 10 or 15 minutes tops. Begin making these appointments a regular thing and then increase the length as you are able.
It doesn’t have to be every day. Once a week is great. Every other week works too. Make a plan that you can work with and that won’t overwhelm you.
Or, pick a small project to start with. Write a 1000 word flash fiction piece or (as in my case) write a blog post. I am also getting into the swing of writing by putting together a couple of coaching packages that I have been meaning to get posted.
Create a ritual
Rituals or habits are a great way to center yourself and get into the mood for writing. For me, writing is best done after I have completed my morning routine, checked my email, and have a bottle of water (or cup of tea) at my side. Most of the time I can do this before the rest of the family is up. If not, I have a back up!
My second best writing time is in the afternoon after lunch is done and my son is occupied. It isn’t always my best writing because I am a definite morning person, but it is writing nevertheless. 🙂
What do you do when I have taken a writing hiatus (on purpose or otherwise)? How do you get back on track? Please share!
For more grammar and writing tips, tricks, and exclusive content sign up for the email list.
For information about my proofreading and coaching services visit the work with me page.